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Strong v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division

September 26, 2017

ANTHONY STRONG PETITIONER
v.
UNITED STATES RESPONDENT

          ORDER OF DISMISSAL

          DEBRA M. BROWN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This pro se prisoner action is before the Court for sua sponte consideration of jurisdiction.

         I Factual and Procedural History

         On May 25, 2016, Anthony Strong was indicted on a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. See United States v. Strong, No. 1:16-cr-52-NBB-DAS (N.D. Miss.) (“Strong”).[1] At his initial appearance on September 21, 2016, Strong was temporarily detained pending a detention hearing.[2] The next day, Strong waived a detention hearing but reserved the right for a hearing at a later date.[3]

         On August 3, 2016, Strong was indicted in the Monroe County Circuit Court on charges of aggravated assault and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Doc. #13-1; Doc. #13-2. Strong was arraigned on the state charges in November 2016. Doc. #13-2.

         On December 7, 2016, Strong filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in this Court challenging his pretrial detention on the state charges and seeking dismissal of those charges. Doc. #1. Strong's petition names Strong as “Plaintiff” and the United States as “Defendant.” Id. at 1. On January 31, 2017, Billie Sollie, [4] construing Strong's habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, moved to dismiss the petition, arguing dismissal is an improper remedy for challenging pretrial detention absent special circumstances. Doc. #13. Strong did not respond to the motion.

         On January 18, 2017, Strong pled guilty to the federal charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.[5] After his sentencing hearing on May 22, 2017, Strong was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal.[6] On June 23, 2017, Strong, who pled guilty to the state charges, was sentenced by the state court and then returned to federal custody.[7]

         II Jurisdiction

         In order for a federal court to retain jurisdiction over a habeas petition, “the petitioner must demonstrate … that he continues to present a case or controversy ….” Zalawadia v. Ashcroft, 371 F.3d 292 (2004). Of relevance here, “claims for federal habeas relief for pretrial issues are mooted” once a petitioner is convicted. Yohey v. Collins, 985 F.2d 222, 228-29 (5th Cir. 1993); see Fassler v. United States, 858 F.2d 1016, 1018 (5th Cir. 1988).

         Strong's petition seeks dismissal of state charges which, as a result of his guilty plea and sentencing, are no longer pending.[8] Thus, his petition is now moot. With no remaining controversy, the Court is deprived of jurisdiction. Jackson v. Clements, 796 F.3d 841, 843 (7th Cir. 2015) (once pre-trial confinement became mooted by petitioner's conviction, court was deprived of jurisdiction because no actual, ongoing controversy existed).

         III Conclusion

         For the reasons above, Strong's petition is DISMISSED as moot for lack of jurisdiction.[9]Accordingly, Billie Sollie's motion to dismiss [13] is DENIED as moot. The Clerk of the Court is DIRECTED to close this case.

         SO ...


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